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We don't just cover the North Bay. We live here.
Did You Know? In the first 10 days of the North Bay fire, we posted 390 stories about the fire. And they were shared nearly 137,000 times.
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Insurance inventories

EDITOR: We are part of the tribe from Coffey Park who shed our things in most dramatic fashion with the wildfire. As such, we are part of an insurance group wherein we all lament the need to create an inventory of every last thing that was once in our houses in order to claim it with the insurance. What a pain it is.

But I write to offer a possible perspective on this process for those who haven’t begun their inventory because the experience of loss is so painful. We are treating the remembrance like we do our vacations — fond memories of things we treasure but are no longer corporeal. We remember them with fondness and let them touch our minds and hearts as they did when we were having the experience of them. These journeys, these experiences are gone in the one sense but palpable and pleasurable in another.

May we all find peace in this experience, and thank you each for sharing your experience with us. It truly makes us Sonoma Strong.

DAVID LINCOLN KING

Santa Rosa

Free press, free country

EDITOR: The weapon that brought down a corrupt presidency was words on paper, not one made of steel. Of the first two amendments, only number one remains immutable for all situations and times. America, by virtue of a free press and dissemination of truth, exists.

Over the centuries, free expression has exposed corporate crime, industrial malpractice and political misfeasance. The written word is the cleansing agent of society.

We now have, unlike the hoax “war on Christmas,” a real war on the institutions of the media. It started with the uttering, by an uninformed and ignorant candidate, the phrase “lamestream media,” to describe those who called her and her party on their ineptness. Little could she have known of its impact, but when more devious minds understood the possibilities, they seized on it for their own nefarious purposes. This demagoguery is a boil that needs excising. It’s effective in a bad way.

The easiest way to fix this is to use the ballot box. Vote for people who understand and support a free press. News gathered through dedication and vetted skillfully isn’t “fake.” Those who call it that, are. They are lying. Let’s make these equivocators irrelevant.

BOB MARKETOS

Petaluma

Remembering the victims

EDITOR: Thank you for publishing stories of the victims of the recent fires (“Remembering who we lost,” Dec. 31). I cried reading through their stories, saddened by their tragic fates. Yet I learned about each person’s passions, history and amazing life. Each one touched so many other lives; more of us were touched by their stories. You transformed them from names of unknown victims to real people who we were lucky to have had as part of our community. They will be missed, but not forgotten.

RENE FOPPE

Petaluma

Freezes and fires

EDITOR: A jet stream pattern is associated with many of the extreme events we’ve seen in recent years. The northward loops carry warm air up from the tropics and help form high-pressure systems associated with warm and dry weather (western fires). The southward dips pull cold Arctic air down, generating snow and ice (Midwest/Northeast freezing and snow). You can watch these daily jet stream weather patterns in The Press Democrat.

As greenhouse gases increase, jet stream waves and the weather are going to be more persistent also.

This past winter (2016-17) saw weeks of temperatures far above the average in the Arctic, where sea ice set a record for low extent for the third year in a row. Because bare ground heats up faster than a reflective white shield of snow, northern latitudes are now warming much faster than mid-latitudes, and the temperature contrast is decreasing. That causes weather patterns to slow down or get stuck.

Additionally, pine bark beetles have steadily migrated northward all around the warming northern areas. Record numbers of dead trees have resulted, 169 million in California. Consequently, record forest fires are occurring all around the northern hemisphere.

CARL FLEGAL

Santa Rosa

Sticker shock

EDITOR: I want to personally thank the City Council of Santa Rosa for the gift I received last week. The new garbage bill for our business: $250.14. Last month’s bill was $78.10 from Santa Rosa Recycling. What a great job the council is doing supporting businesses in the city of Santa Rosa. I can’t wait to get a bill for our home service.

CATHY PORTERFIELD

Santa Rosa

A state single-payer plan

EDITOR: Access to good, affordable health care is a life-or-death issue. Yet in Washington, congressional Republicans have ripped apart the fabric of the Affordable Care Act without regard for the millions who will lose health coverage.

Meanwhile in Sacramento, Democrats in the state Assembly have shelved a bill that was passed by the Senate last June. The Healthy California Act aims to protect Californians from Washington’s whims by establishing an enhanced Medicare-for-all system in our state.

Every resident would be covered, and a fiscal study shows that cutting the insurance industry out of the health care equation could save the state $40 billion a year. And with no more insurance premiums, co-pays or deductibles, nearly all individuals and businesses would save on health care.

Thanks to state Sen. Mike McGuire for co-authoring the Healthy California Act. And Assemblyman Jim Wood, it’s time to get off the fence and get behind the bill. Your constituents are watching — and will vote accordingly come November.

If you want to know more about the Healthy California Act, check out HealthyCA.org.

MARYANN LONG

Healdsburg

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